Redress schemes

Letting and property management agents must be a member of a redress scheme. This means if something goes wrong you can make your complaint through the redress scheme. There are currently 3 approved redress schemes: 

Agents must clearly state the name of the redress scheme they belong to.

If an agent is not a member of a redress scheme, please contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline to report them to Trading Standards.

Letting agents fees and charges

Agents must also clearly state the following on their premises and website:

  • a description of what service or purpose each fee covers
  • if the fee is per property or per tenant 
  • the amount of each fee including tax or, where the amount of a fee cannot be known in advance, a description of  how it is calculated

If a letting agent is not a member of a redress scheme, please contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline to report them to Trading Standards.

Deposits

If you pay a deposit to a letting agent or landlord they must protect it with one of the Government approved deposit protection schemes:

All deposits paid must be protected within 30 days and information will be sent directly to you from the relevant scheme. If your deposit is not protected then you could be entitled to claim up to 3 times the amount back at the end of the tenancy. You also cannot legally be evicted from the property unless an unprotected deposit is returned.

The agency can only put a ‘holding deposit’ towards the first month’s rent, or the security deposit. They have to take any fees separately and are not allowed to deduct them from the holding deposit.

Agents must clearly state whether they are a member of a clients’ money protection scheme.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 requires most private sector landlords to:
  • install a smoke alarm on every floor of their property
  • install a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms of their properties that use or burn solid fuels
  • check that alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations booklet.